There are so many Christmas specials on television and even more movies that helpusher in the holiday spirit. I don’t even remember the first time I watched Mickey’s Christmas Carol, but it was to me as a child what Love Actually is to me as an adult. I only watch it during the month of December and it doesn’tfeel quite like Christmas until I do. Thanks to ABC and my trusty VCR, I always had the cartoon ready to go as a kid and because it was so short (25 minutes is perfect for a restless six-year-old), I was known to watch itmultiple times in a row.
Released in December of ‘83 (I wasn’t even born yet!) this short not only mirrors the classic Charles Dickens tale, but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice there is a plethora of Disney cameos. This cartoon could almost being called Robin Hood II with the amount of recycled characters that make an appearance from Lady Kluck to Friar Tuck to the whole animal gang of Sherwood Forest including Skippy the bunny (still wearing Robin Hood’s hat btw) and Toby the Turtle. There is also a bunch of other familiar faces such as Chip and Dale, the Big Bad Wolf with the Three Little Pigs, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow. Of course there were your staples: Donald, Goofy, Daisy (who was trying to get with Scrooge? Even at the age of six, I knew he was too old for her), Pete (who is my boyfriend’s favorite Disney character and according to him is vastly underused) and then there was a silent Minnie Mouse — just the way I like her.
Besides being a famous Who’s Who in the Disney canon, this story is. of course, a heart-warming, Christmas classic. I didn’t know who Charles Dickens was as a kid and even when I got a little older and tried to read the book (my father warned me that I might not like it. Five pages in, I was back to reading The Babysitter’s Club) I always just preferred to watch this special. Even now when ABC airs it (along with a Charlie Brown Christmas) I never miss it. The ending with Scrooge running out in a nightgown and slippers looking more like a homeless man than a wealthy one is the best! I always tear up when Tiny Tim says “God bless us, every one,” and all the kids crawl onto Scrooge’s lap while “Oh, What a Merry Christmas Day” begins to play again.
It may be cheesy, but it still pulls at my heartstrings and even if I tried to pick up the Dickens’ novel again, I’m sure I would only picture Mickey as Bob Cratchit and (of course) Ebenezer as Scrooge McDuck. I ask you ,though, why read the book when you can just watch the television special? (Says the soon-to-be English teacher…)
The ending including the Ghost of Christmas Future. (Yay scary Pete!)